Walking with My Camera: Sunlight Inside Big Knife Creek

On the day I was shooting these images there was a small glow of sunlight concentrated in Big Knife Creek right next to a rock. The light stayed in a general area but was alive with the movement of the water. One of the colors of the light was a luminous chartreuse.

The tiny spaces I photograph in Big Knife Creek make me think about the larger universe and our connections. I’ve been reading about the light that travels about 93 million miles to us from our sun, one of a 100 billion stars in our galaxy.1 Our yellow dwarf star is around 4.5 billion years old.2 “The light that comes to us from the sun is born as energetic gamma rays. After billions of collisions with matter, this radiation reaches the surface and escapes into space. It is believed that it takes light between 100,000 years and 50 million years to escape.”3  Sunlight takes an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to the Earth.4

I look for specific kinds of light when I am taking photographs but when I pause to think about light it is such a mystery to me. I can’t touch it. I appreciate this description by UCAR Center for Science Education – “Visible light is one way energy moves around. Light waves are the result of vibrations of electric and magnetic fields, a form electromagnetic (EM) radiation. Visible light is just one of many types of EM radiation, and occupies a very small range of the overall electromagnetic spectrum but because we can see light with our eyes, it has special significance to us.”5 What a journey this bit of sunlight in the water experienced travelling from the sun’s core with a temperature of 27 million degrees °F to this little creek in Western Montana through my eyes and camera to this screen. Thank you, sun. Without your light and energy we would not have life.